retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Whole Foods on Friday said that it is establishing a new language policy for its employees, responding to criticisms that came after two New Mexico employees said they were suspended for speaking Spanish to each other on the job. (The company said that it had suspended the employees for poor behavior.)

On his blog, co-CEO Walter Robb said:

"On behalf of our senior leadership team, I apologize that a section of our employee handbook regarding team member interactions in the workplace was not clearly written, and for any misunderstandings or offense it has created. Its intention was to foster inclusion, not exclusion. We have changed the wording of this section and will ensure the new wording and more importantly, the intention behind it, is reviewed and discussed at all store and facility meetings, which will be within 45 days' time."

The move came as MoveOn.org delivered a petition to Whole Foods headquarters with some 15,000 signatures threatening a boycott if the company did not change what was seen as an "English-only" policy.
KC's View:
I'm willing to go with the Whole Foods' assertion that this was a misunderstanding based on lack of clarity, as opposed to an assiduously anti-Spanish policy.

Here's my feeling. I don't give a damn what language employees use to talk to each other ... as long as they are not talking to each other in front of me when I am the customer, believing that their conversation is more important than taking care of the shopper.